Saturday, January 17, 2009

It's that time of year again

Trade season! Hooray!
Today, I’ll give you four players I believe will be on the move. They will make a difference for a playoff contender — Denver or elsewhere.

Antawn Jamison, Washington Wizards. Averaging 19 points and eight rebounds over 10 NBA seasons — 20 points and nine rebounds this season. Do you hear much about him? No, because the Wizards stink this season. Jamison is 32 years old and carries a $10 million tag. Pulling him would be akin to the Lakers getting Pau Gasol last season.

Stephen Jackson, Golden State. Sure, he’ll beat you down if you mess with him. So don’t mess with him. Jackson is 30. He’s got the goods to play guard or forward, averaging 19points and six assists for the woeful Warriors. And his price tag is relatively affordable at $7 million.

Marcus Camby, Los Angeles Clippers. Living in L.A. might be nice, but not if your 6-foot-11 frame is crammed into the basement of the Pacific Division. At 34, Camby is averaging a double-double — 12 points and 14 rebounds per game. He costs around $10 million, but could you imagine him blocking shots and pulling down boards for the LeBron James-led Cavaliers? Or the Chauncey Billups-Carmelo Anthony-led Nuggets?

Raja Bell, Charlotte Bobcats. One minute, you’re in Phoenix with Shaquille O’Neal and Steve Nash. The next, you’re traded to Charlotte — with Adam Morrison and Shannon Brown. Somebody should free Bell from the abyss. He’s a solid, physical defender — T.R. Dunn with a three-point shot.

Think any one of these four players could make an impact for the Nuggets? If not those four, Denver ought to be looking somewhere for help.

There’s always room for improvement.

I like all of these guys, but I'm extremely intrigued by both Camby and Jackson.

From a basketball standpoint, I'm not sure you can get a better fit for the Cavs than Stephen Jackson. The man can hit threes (career 34%), he's playoff tested (in both San Antonio and Golden State), he's 6-8 (meaning he can guard bigger 2-guards) and while his shooting stats are down this year (39% FG, 29% 3pt) his assists are way up (6.0 per game).

The only questions (to me anyways) are his temperment and his contract. As far as the craziness goes, since he's been in California, he seems to have calmed down a bit. And as for the contract, yes, he's signed through 2013, but he's under $10 mil for every year but the last.

If you have the chance to plug Jackson in next to LeBron and Mo, you could have yourself a scary good team. Imagine having Jax and Bron-Bron ballhawking on the wing? Those are two very long and very tall perimeter defenders.

The guy has played for Mike Brown, he's thrived next to superstars (Tim Duncan and B-Diddy) and basketball-wise... well, it seems like a no brainer.

Then there's Marcus Camby. I mean, are you kidding me? This guy would be huge off the bench. He's currently leading the league with almost 14 boards per night (13.9 to be exact) and he's second in blocked shots with 2.7 per. He's owed $10 million this year and $9 million next season. He may not have the range of one Zydrunas Ilgauskas, but he has a good faceup jumper and pairing him with Wallace and LeBron for late game possession would be insane.

As for Raja Bell, I think he could be a nice saftey net for the Cavs. He'd be a nice defender, 3-point shooter to have come off the bench. He wouldn't set the world on fire, but he could help this team.

This trade season should be quite interesting...


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